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  • Locked thread
PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

H3Y H4V3 YOU GUYS H34RD 4BOUT HOM3STUCK?


Go Home, Hemingway, You're Drunk - 3 words
For sale: Baby.

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Bring it, Kai in the Sky.

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Lo, I have been summoned, and I have responded to said summons and do thusly respond, as follows:

You've written baroque, but I've had enough of it. Instead give me a story written clearly, concisely, verging on sparse, even. Not like that sentence.

In the spirit of eliminating the extraneous, this theme shall be your just desserts.

Deserts.

Interpret as broadly as you like, but please don't write a prose poem describing sand.

Upper Word Limit: 1000 words. MAKE EVERY ONE COUNT OR ELSE.

Due Date: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, Midnight PST.


The Great Southern Waste

Want a cold beer at Scott Base? Stick it out the window. The bottle only: fingers outside and you’ll lose ‘em. For the summer crew, the temperature can reach a balmy 0 degrees celsius. The winter lot are less lucky- it’s called a skeleton crew for good reason.

Penguins and sterile darkness for a thousand miles. Nothing to do but drink, play poker and drill ice cores. The sign on the door says Climate Research. The manifesto on the wall has three points:

#1 save the world
#2 no kids until we’ve saved the world
#3 don’t talk about The Thing


Two months back, I was sitting across the table from Anna. Every day, she stared at ice cores until her eyes were red, and told me she’d not been crying. She is as close to magic as I have met: the ice is her crystal ball. She wrote a paper about it, then received death threats. She no longer talks about global warming to the press.

We were playing Texas Hold ‘em with Gibbs and Murray. I had a pair of 3s. Terrible, but you play your cards against those on the table. A bad hand can come through in the right place. Anna was not drunk. We had bags under our eyes. None of us had shaved in weeks. The rest of the crew were asleep.

“It’s done,” said Anna. “Tubes tied.” She threw down a few dollars. Her voice was hollow, resigned. I met the bet.

“Me too,” said Murray. “Vasectomy. Boxing Day, back in the world. Doctor asked questions. Told him I was a Catholic with a sex addiction. Shut him up.”

First three cards flipped over: Queen of Spades, King of Spades, 6 of Hearts. Fuckall for me. Two more cards to go, turn and river. The river is the last card- last chance. Two sorts of people chase it: fools, and those with nothing left to lose.

Dangerous thing, hope.

I hadn’t gotten the snip, but I didn’t want them to know. It used to be a joke. We’d made a pillow fort and wrote “no kids allowed” and went inside and got drunk and marvelled at the patterns of ice on the windows. It’d been cramped, boring and cold in the base, but we’d stuck with it because we were saving the world.

Making it a better place for our-





Turn: 5 of Clubs. Useless.

It was in front of us, clear as ice. The earth was dying, and we were paramedics. As news of Anna’s frosty reception made it south, our bravado faded. The first of many wounds. We realised we were undertakers, keeping the place neat for whoever wanted to look it over later.

Oh, humanity? Gone to meet Jesus, ain’t comin’ back.

We used to be scared of monsters that looked like people, then we cut out the middle man. The forbidden movie changed: The Thing into Mad Max. A monster can be killed, but a desert can only be survived. Welcome to the big empty: tickets are free, but food costs an arm and a leg.

Barren. Hell of a word. Conscious choice on our parts, except mine. You wouldn’t push your lover in front of a train, and you wouldn’t bring a kid into the mess that’s coming. Easier to-

River flipped: 3 of Clubs. I threw a few bucks on the pile. Murray folded. Chasing a straight, no doubt. Anna met the bet. She gave a lopsided grin, like old times. Gibbs saw the look, and folded.

“So, what’ve you got?” I said.

She shrugged and flipped her cards. Pair of Jacks. Good hand, in totally the wrong place. A bluff, or faith in the river? I laid my cards out. Murray laughed. “Trip threes,” he said, “bloody hell, saved myself some cash there. Lucky bastard.”

Gibbs crooked an eyebrow. “Just what the hell were you chasing?” he said.

“Dunno,” I said, “but looks like I found it.”

Dangerous thing, hope.

We drink, we play poker, we drill ice cores and send them home. They are more worrying each year, but the world is not worried. Terrible, but you play your cards against those on the table. We can only bet big, and keep chasing the river.






[714 words]

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are.

You are destiny.


The Leper Colon V posted:

Go Home, Hemingway, You're Drunk - 3 words
For sale: Baby.

Touché.

Ursine Asylum
Jul 10, 2012

dreaming of that face again

it's bright and blue and shimmering

grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes


The Last Duck - 25 words

He had blown into it, but no response-- the cartridge was dead. For the rest of his life, he could still hear the dog laughing.

Arkane
Dec 19, 2006

by R. Guyovich


Memorial
25 words

The boy turned off the TV, went outside to the yard. He laid next to the tree they planted together. He whispered, "I miss you."

Skwid
Aug 20, 2011

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Liar - 24 words

She was rent asunder slowly, methodically by the only person she'd ever called home. He felt nothing but the blazing steel in his spine.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


Blood Empress of Thunderdome

Tap to emit spores


Clapping Larry

The Leper Colon V posted:

Go Home, Hemingway, You're Drunk - 3 words
For sale: Baby.

Quoting to say: IRL lol

Nika
Aug 9, 2013

like i was tanqueray

Would've Left You Anyway
25 words


She gives me the pill, says it won’t hurt. Soon you spill out of me, splashing my legs, the floor.

“It won’t hurt.”

It does.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

JUDGEMENT POST: THIS IS A POST THAT IS JUDGING YOU.

Winner: Systran.
HM: Sebmojo

Loser: Eastdrom
DMs: Quidnose, Ursine Asylum, Tyrannosaurus, Cache Cab, Starter Wiggin, Elfdude, Arkane.

If you thought you wrote a pretty decent story and are surprised to see a dishonourable mention next to your name, cast your eye over this from the prompt:

Chairchucker posted:

No sex or swearing or torture or similarly unLEGO things. Cartoon violence permitted.

Your stories have most likely been deemed 'unLEGO'.

Hey. Hey Systran. Where's our prompt.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Chairchucker posted:

Your stories have most likely been deemed 'unLEGO'.

Should note: it's also possible I hated it and wish bad things for you forever, so don't necessarily feel good about yourself.

Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008

The first rule of No Avatar Club is: you do not talk about No Avatar Club. The second rule of No Avatar Club is: you DO NOT talk about No Avatar Club

Grimey Drawer

Not Winning Yet
11 words

Scratchy lotteries
Did my life change? Oh
I'll get more Monday

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014



Saved as a Draft
(20 words)


'I love you and I'm sorry.'
The train takes me farther from you as I press Send.
'No network available.'

Quidthulhu
Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!


Interprompt Crits:

The News at 5 posted:

Microprompt submission:

Room for One More
25 words

Ethan burst into the room to see Lila crying in the hospital bed.

“Dammit!” he screamed. “Now I’ll never have a drummer for Rock Band!”

Is Lila the drummer? Who died? What is happening? I'm confused. I think there's a joke here, but I am unsure.

sebmojo posted:

Vanished in the flow
25 words

I saw her a month before she was murdered. She’d been arguing with her dad. I kissed her; she shrugged, smiled. What to do, eh?

I want to know more, which is great. Who is saying the last line? If it's "her," I want it in quotes, maybe.

Noah posted:

Unsettled
words: 25
The deadbeat wasn’t home, so we had to leave him a message, but his dog ran out of blood before we finished writing.

I don't like the "but" in this. The rest is great, creepy. Why is he a deadbeat? I want to know.

Starter Wiggin posted:

Soft Sighs

24 words

Musk and tension hung in the air. A soft snore to his right, the same, cold moon out the window. He didn't feel different.

Who's musk? Why is there tension with a snore? No comma after same. I don't see a connection between him feeling different and the person in the bed and the tension and whatever. Too much unclear~

Techno Remix posted:

Microprompt!

Fatal Exception
25 words

All I could do was slam my fists and curse under my breath. My window to the world froze, and I had not saved recently.

I dig.

Walamor posted:

gently caress Open Caskets
25 Words

It's a cruel charade, forcing a look of unnatural sleep. It hurts more, seeing the undeceiving imitation of life, an unjust final memory. Incinerate me.

Are these metal lyrics? What is happening here. I don't mean to be rude if this has special meaning to you but this is so cryptic I would never be able to tell.

curlingiron posted:

Cold Call
18 words

Sometimes the phone is in my hand before I remember that you won't be on the other end.

Perfection.

Kaishai posted:

Realization
(19 words)

I found out soon what she had known: "I love you" would be her last words to me.

Perfection.

Jeza posted:

Odyssey - 25 Words

The siren song of the high-tension cabling calls, and they come, teetering, wind-swept like ancient heroes at the edge. They seek, but they shan't find.

I have no idea what is happening here.

Little Mac posted:

True Story 23 Words

Dad died suddenly on my sixteenth birthday. The PlayStation RPG Maker was still the worst gift I got that year. I'm still mourning.

Too many "stills" in a close proximity. I like the ambiguity of if you're mourning for lovely PSX games or your father dying. This is strong.

Mercedes posted:

Microprompt submission


The one time I was in the bathroom and there was no toilet paper anywhere in the house

"No, God. WHY?!"

No word count, I am disappointed.

FreudianSlippers posted:

Microprompt

The Effects of Morhpine
25 words.

I awoke a white room feeling numb. Trying to esacpe I threw the sheet and realized that I had no right leg and remembered why.

I like this a lot, you are missing an "in." Needs commas.

V for Vegas posted:

25 words about loess

Loess is homogeneous, porous, friable, pale yellow, buff, slightly coherent, typically non-stratified and often calcareous. Just like sebmojo.

What is this poo poo.

Nikaer Drekin posted:

risk
(23 words)

come on baby ace or eight ace or eight

daddy needs a new pair of shoes

daddy needs to eat

...

well poo poo

I dig. But you are no e.e. cummings.

Whalley posted:

Terrible Secrets 23 words
She hid her bowlegged walk from her parents almost as well as she hid the smirk to her brother across the breakfast table.

Where is the loss here? Did she get an abortion from her brother and her having sex? Did she ride a horse? I am confused.

Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi posted:

First Love Lost
25 words

We’d been robbed. Jewelry, money, family heirlooms—gone. But the pristine square in a sea of dust where my SNES had been?

That destroyed me.

I dig. Dust your retro consoles.

docbeard posted:

Consent
24 words

"She's made her wishes clear, but we need your authorization," the doctor said.

I signed the forms. She's resting peacefully. It won't be long.

I like this a lot except for the tense change.

Jeep posted:

Nighttime
10 Words.

It's only the ceiling fan keeping you from falling asleep.

Ooo. Ooo. I like this. Terse, leaves me wondering, more please.

Jonked posted:

Summer Camp
25 words

It was a stupid activity. Carry a stone, it's someone that you lost - my grandfather. At the end, leave it.

I still have it, somewhere.

Near perfection. The second sentence in the third is a little clumsy to me because I have no idea who the speaker of each thing is. But I like the irreverence towards the loss.

Lake Jucas posted:

Cousins
Words: 25

“Shut your loving mouth,” he grunted between thrusts. She buried her sobs in her pillow until it's pristine white cover was soaked through with tears.

Title + heartwrenching actions = hard hitter for me. Sebmojo already yelled at you for it is.

God Over Djinn posted:

Time is the Enemy (25 words)

we loved each other in moth-winged sunlight (and once)
rain-sodden under the eighth street bus shelter (and finally)
in that antiseptic room (code-alarms and all).

Not sure what is happening here but I want to know. e.e. cummings called you too. This is a little bit too "poem-y" for my tastes in this prompt, but I didn't specify not to do that.

ThirdEmperor posted:

Spaces
-25 words

She left the house riddled with spaces where she wasn't, every empty seat a reminder, the sudden lurch of missing a step in the dark.


((Edited in word count))

Fantastic, except the last sentence doesn't fit grammatically with the other two for me. I like this a lot otherwise.

crabrock posted:

Punishment
22 words


You were the lens I gazed through to make sense of the world, like the perfect metaphor. Now it hurts to simile.


This would make a perfect poem, but it doesn't try super hard to be one. I dig.

Sitting Here posted:

Swan Dive
25 words

My child self would've been disappointed, but some of us just weren't cut out for this life.

One last breath.

Take the step.

I'm free.

Sad. I dig.

Black Griffon posted:

Go Long, Hemingway! - 6 words

For sale: baby chainsaw, used once

Go Long? Did they pass the baby? I get the reference but am missing the joke, I think.

The Leper Colon V posted:

Go Home, Hemingway, You're Drunk - 3 words
For sale: Baby.

This is better execution!

Ursine Asylum posted:

The Last Duck - 25 words

He had blown into it, but no response-- the cartridge was dead. For the rest of his life, he could still hear the dog laughing.

Torture~ I dig.

Arkane posted:

Memorial
25 words

The boy turned off the TV, went outside to the yard. He laid next to the tree they planted together. He whispered, "I miss you."

I don't unnastand why the TV fits in to this. I think laid is incorrect here but I was always bad at that. This teeters on the edge of a little contrived to me.

Skwid posted:

Liar - 24 words

She was rent asunder slowly, methodically by the only person she'd ever called home. He felt nothing but the blazing steel in his spine.

Think you need another comma after methodically, that sentence grammatically looks bad. Not sure why he has steel in his spine, is that courage? Desire? Did she stab him? Is he hardening his...backbone? Idgi.

Nika posted:

Would've Left You Anyway
25 words


She gives me the pill, says it won’t hurt. Soon you spill out of me, splashing my legs, the floor.

“It won’t hurt.”

It does.

...is this a bloody abortion pill? This sounds like a bloody abortion pill.

Barracuda Bang! posted:

Not Winning Yet
11 words

Scratchy lotteries
Did my life change? Oh
I'll get more Monday

Too much poem, not enough loss, especially if it repeats over and over again.

Paladinus posted:

Saved as a Draft
(20 words)


'I love you and I'm sorry.'
The train takes me farther from you as I press Send.
'No network available.'

Fantastic. Tries too hard to be a poem. Revise to make a story and resubmit.

~Interprompt over~

Really nice work folks, very interesting to see what everyone did with so few words.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Chairchucker posted:


DMs:

If you thought you wrote a pretty decent story and are surprised to see a dishonourable mention next to your name, cast your eye over this from the prompt:


Your stories have most likely been deemed 'unLEGO'.


Oh addendum to these: Black Griffon

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are.

You are destiny.


Man, you just had to drop that in when I thought I was off the hook.

dreadmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Black Griffon posted:

Man, you just had to drop that in when I thought I was off the hook.

Speaking of hooks, Djeser ed that he would care about his story this week. It was a care. He threw it down late, but he did it. And it's a good story too; I'll do a crit later. So no banning today.

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

Chairchucker posted:

Oh addendum to these: Black Griffon

Oh also Whalley

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014



Chairchucker posted:

DMs: Quidnose, Ursine Asylum, Tyrannosaurus, Cache Cab, Starter Wiggin, Elfdude, Arkane.

JUDGEMENT POST: THIS IS A POST THAT IS JUDGING YOU.
If you thought you wrote a pretty decent story and are surprised to see a dishonourable mention next to your name, cast your eye over this from the prompt:

Your stories have most likely been deemed 'unLEGO'.

Please, don't tell me a dead monkey is unLEGO. There are coffins, skeletons and zombies in Lego all the way.

Fake edit: oh wait, I'm not on the list.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


TD 81 - Read This Before You Skip To Your Crits, You Miserable Cretins

Hello! I will shortly be delivering to you the fiery helljudgment which you so richly deserve (preview: I hate you, please die). However, I will also extend the opportunity for anyone who wants a longer-form, line-by-line critique to earn one.

If you would like a line-by-line critique from me, you will do the following: Pick another story from this past week (TD 81) and provide a full line-by-line critique of it. You will pick a story from the same pile as I've ranked yours, or a lower pile. (i.e. If you were in the mid pile, choose a mid- or low-pile story. High pile can choose anyone, low pile can only choose low pile.)

At the top of your crit, please include this phrase: CRIT ME BEEF. All caps. I will be searching specifically for that phrase to figure out who I need to crit, so if you omit that phrase, you will probably get skipped.

Note: Crit will be honest, which means harsh. It may also include jokes at your expense and profanity along with the advice.

But Beef, I don't know how to crit!!?!?

Learn by doing, fuckwit. If you need an example, go read some good line-by-lines. Sebmojo often offers particularly good ones.

You're mean!

You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? If you can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don't like it, leave.

ACTUAL CRITS BELOW HERE (round 1 of more than 1)

(I'm going to post these in two or three parts, because holy poo poo there's a lot of (angry) words.)

SurreptitiousMuffin - Never interrupt teatime, especially if you are a ninja

This is well-written and amusing, but it doesn’t completely work for me. I think the problem is that the elements feel disconnected: what’s the core of the story? A guy worries about poisoning a foreigner, tenses up a bit, and then a fight breaks out and the story becomes an action sequence about defending the bridge. Also, Money-San shoots people. It’s like you tipped out your toybox: lots of fun stuff, but it doesn’t all go together?

The end feels disconnected from the beginning; could you introduce the danger with the Evil Samurai Dude earlier? That would also help frame the poisoning. Also, there’s a few too many passive sentences in the middle of the action sequence for my taste.

High pile.

Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi - The Dream Battle

Okay, that’s an interesting take and action sequence. You were under some pretty serious pressure with the wordcount, and it shows. What I don’t get is a sense of why this fight matters; what’s at stake if the nightmare-god wins?

Mechanically, this needs work. Drop your similes or make them interesting. Ninjas appeared “like apparitions” is redundant, likewise “snarled like wolves”. Your action sequence has a lot of flabby, long sentences, which make it feel drawn-out. Show us the important bits, don’t describe it like you’re a TV camera. I also recommend, during action sequences, using short, choppy sentences to jolt your reader and make them feel like the action is flying past.

Mid pile.

The News At 5 - Snowblind

Bad writing, no plot, cardboard characters, exposition like a sack of bricks to the face. Were it not for the polar bear ending, this would be unsalvageable trash.

Here’s some choice bits of terribleness:

quote:

“Branniger,” he reminded the rookie, “is the gas tech back at the base. He told me fourteen times that we had plenty of fuel to get us to the Blocky Mountains and back

AS YOU KNOW BOB, HERE IS AN INFODUMP. This sentence makes me want to vomit. Don’t ever have your characters barf important exposition at us. This is a writing 101 mistake. Never, ever do this again.

Also, cut your said-bookisms and adverbs. You use too many.

quote:

Before Captain Ross could react, Scooter threw open the door and ran as fast as he could to the outpost. Captain Ross was too stunned to react.

I hope you can see why this is bad. The first clause is redundant. Reaction follows action. Don’t reuse the same uncommon word twice in two goddamn sentences.

The polar-bear ending is amusing, a fun and unexpected detail. However, you do need to foreshadow the saddle bit somehow. (Toss in a rodeo reference in the first quarter?) Cut out the “oh, Scooter is about to do something interesting! Just wait! He’ll do something fun in a little while!” padding where he’s assembling the thing, it doesn’t show us anything and just serves to occupy space. Everything before the saddle is two characters tediously barfing exposition at me, cut/rewrite.

Low pile.

Eastdrom - Untitled

Proofread your poo poo. There’s an obvious typo smack in the first sentence (“a buzz” -> “abuzz”), and that bodes poorly when I’m reading 40+ bad stories. Pay attention to your capitalization, for gently caress’s sake. Your first paragraph, other flaws aside, has so many minor spelling/capitalization mistakes that it feels like you’re not taking this seriously, and, if so, why should I seriously bother reading the rest?

(Hint: because I have to)

Your writing is awful. Seriously, you need writing 101. Go read the first few posts in Fiction Advice. Pay attention to poo poo like said-bookisms, adverbs, etc. Have you ever even read a goddamn book?

Anyway, this story is basically a load of nothing. A guy ruminates inwardly, makes some coffees for people who don’t matter, and then runs off to New Zealand. So loving what? You don’t give us a reason to care.

Where does a character make a decision, resolve a conflict? Anything? Bueller?

We need to understand the choice confronting the character, and the character’s motivations, starting straight from Paragraph One. Then develop your characters and conflict in the subsequent paragraphs, and conclude with a decision that leads to triumph or failure.

Also, your narrator is an unlikeable goony fuckhead, so I’m rooting against him the whole time. And then he goes to New Zealand, and I don’t see how that changes his unlikeable goony fuckheadedness.

In short, go kill yourself.

Low pile/Loser candidate.

Techno Remix - Mission Failure

Does any of your opening dialogue serve a purpose? This is writing, not television. Each line of dialogue needs to do serious work: develop a character, deepen the plot. Your patter is tedious and shows us nothing; it’s obviously just there to drop the Canon in D reference for the flashrule.

The rest of the story is limp and unclear. For a second, I thought you were going for the “first contact” scenario, but then it’s just the space station (or space ship? unclear) spiralling out of orbit. Why? What does this show us? What’s the god-damned point you’re trying to make?

Low pile.

Docbeard - Search and Rescue

quote:

“Doctor, have you made any progress on the nature of the alien radiation?” Something to think about other than his missing man.

“It’s...alien,”

WELL GEE, THAT WAS INFORMATIVE.

Well, I guess I made it to story #5 before someone went the route of the Lego people being actual people who are also toys.

Story is badly written and pointless. All the jabber and action in the points prior to the dialogue with the kid do nothing - they set up no conflict or motivation. There’s a whiff of mystery, but you throw so many bizarre things in with the “oh god what’s happening” dialogue that it’s hard to care.

Especially when the payoff is LOLTOYS. Go see Systran's story for an example of using this framing device well. Don't confuse a framing device as an excuse for writing an actual story.

Low pile.

Entenzahn - Olaf the Oaf

Well, I don’t vehemently hate this, which is better than the last few stories. This has a good tone. You’ve made good use of short, simple sentences to reflect on Olaf’s mental simplicity.

I’d like to see this start out differently; right now it’s sort of a laundry list which introduces all the characters. You really need to make us root for Olaf, make him a loveable oaf, and show him trying to do good but gosh darnit he’s just so adorably clumsy - and do that from sentence One.

Maybe develop the bit with the small dragon more.

The action bits are slow. Dudes are fighting a dragon, but you still keep the same dogged, plodding pace of narration. Some of that it due to the narrator, but you need to mix it up a bit. GEE WHIZ A DRAGON!

The turn in the middle happens by accident; I dunno how I feel about that. It’s not very satisfying. Accidents are great for getting characters into trouble, but it's better when they clamber out of trouble with their own two hands. That's character development.

Anyway, I’ve seen worse, so this gets a pass.

Mid pile.

Paladinus - Historia de un Fracaso

Your POV shifts weirdly - at some points it’s 3rd omniscient, then it flips back and forth between 3rd focused on the man and the monkey, and then it’s back to 3rd omniscient when the monkey dies.

That said, it’s completely unclear what’s at stake, etc. Entertainers enter a village, they play lovely music, the monkey dies. Why do I care? What are you trying to say?

You’re clearly trying to be very clever, and you’re tripping over your heels each time. I recommend you try to tell a simple, straight-through story next time.

Low pile.

systran - Wingmen

Okay, this is the way to do a “two kids playing with Lego” story, because it’s not about the goddamn Lego, it’s about a big brother and a little brother.

I like the details, they catch the way little boys thing quite well. I laughed at “hundred-dan black belt” (spell it out though!) and a bunch of other funny little bits.

It feels like you got cut off at the end; the resolution isn’t wholly satisfying for me.

I see that the big brother feels bad about breaking the little brother’s ship, that’s the turn, that’s the core here. I’d like to see the interplay between them, and the emotions of the big brother, brought to the fore more. I’d also like to see the opening tightened up a bit and the siblings introduced sooner.

That said, I also really like how you ju-jitsu’d the hilarious Lego exposition in the picture into hyperbolic little-kid play. It’s really tone-perfect.

Funny and very sweet. A strong entry.

High pile.

Whalley - Strays

Man, this kid is a dick to dogs. Why does he suddenly have a raging hateboner for some dog he’s never met? You spend way too long on the opening; okay, we have an invisible ghost dog who’s an rear end in a top hat, and a kid who hates the dog for some unaccountable reason. GET TO THE POINT.

Actually, no. What the gently caress is the point of this story? A boy gets abducted by invisible furries and killed. I mean, for one, Chairchucker is going to hate this, given that it’s “not very Lego”. for two, why? What’s this story about, what’s the meaning behind it? Stuff happens, but there’s no thread of logic or theme beyond it being bizarre.

Jesus christ, do you have your lips sewn to your own rear end in a top hat? I can’t imagine someone sucking poo poo this hard otherwise.

Low pile.

Crab Destroyer - Exploring the Volcanic Caves

Ah, a pure “stuff happens” story. A guy gets a cool truck, goes to drive it into the lava caverns and then… for some reason he promotes a dude? Sure, okay, stuff happens. “A dude test drives a car” isn’t a very exciting outline for a story, so why’d you write yours that way? Where’s the character arc and conflict?

Lava caverns and trucks with sweet cannons are cool. Unfortunately, story is boring.

Low pile.

Baudolino - Leaving New York

Well, that was bizarre. The Empire State Building lifts off, flies to Canada and settles down to become a building-sized lumberjack. My brain just blew a fuse.

Your actual, mechanical writing is still rough. There’s periods missing and misspellings scattered around. Seriously, grab a free Google account and run your stuff through Google Docs’ spell/grammar checker.

As for the story itself… it’s bizarre. It’s like a weird work of modern art. I can’t tell if you meant it to be this off-the-wall nonsensical or not. In spite of the flaws, in spite of the lack of characterization, I kinda like this. It’s whimsical and strange and the flighty tone fits it.

“I don’t hate this” is pretty good so far as this week goes. I’d like it more without the mechanical mistakes; if you’d asked someone to help you proofread and correct the spelling/punctuation/grammar errors, this could’ve been an HM just on the strength of its weirdness.

Mid pile.

Anathema Device - Tavernkeeper’s Window

Well, looks like the flash rule was a trap for you. This is an origin story, the start of a bigger tale, but as a self-contained thing? Not so much.

What’s this story about? Perseverance? The protagonist is a blank, she never really makes any choices or has any struggles. It makes the story boring. I kept wandering off to watch Fus Ro Dah videos on Youtube after your intro, because they’re more interesting than the mundane action taking place in your middle scenes.

The resolution isn’t satisfying because it doesn’t mean anything to the character. There’s a sort of dazed “what the gently caress am I gonna do now” feeling. That’s the setup for another story - what is this upjumped tavernkeeper going to do to rebuild her village? But the story ends there, so you don’t develop it, and that means there’s no interesting character development.

Just a sense of dazed weariness, which is how I feel about this story.

Still, the actual mechanical writing itself is generally fair.

Middle pile.

Sitting Here - T-Wrecked

Pun in the title and badass dino set? This is starting off on the right foot.

I think the dialogue goes on a bit too long for what it is. I was pretty sour on this until the very last sentence, which redeems it. I think the problem is that you’re bouncing back and forth between a couple of pretty blurry characters and some very bizarre, small-kids-playing-with-toys action. T-rex with plasma breath, hell yeah, very 8-year-old.

The prose is fairly rough. Couple of obvious error (“in tact”), and dialogue attributions like “started to say” are just plain bad, period. This needs another cleanup pass.

This is a decent piece of fluff, it’s kinda fun and whimsical, but it doesn’t hang together as a unified package. Same problem as Muffin’s, really. I want to like this more than I actually do.

High pile.

The Great Moo - Next Stop After Albuquerque

Okay, you’ve got the basics - something happens, and the protagonist responds to it. That’s a step above a lot of people so far this week. The downside is that you spend the majority of the piece slamming exposition in my face in an effort to prop up the stakes for the train robbery.

Worse, the way the plot’s resolved has little to do with the protagonist’s character and is basically just that the antagonist isn’t wearing a seatbelt.

Try to work some characterization into your next story and avoid slapping down slabs of backstory.

Also, you really sidestepped the flashrule here - I’m not so sure you have a firm grasp of what “intractable” means.

Mid pile.

elfdude - A farm story

Tediously written and boring. Your characters need to react to an event in the story. You’ve pushed all the action out so that it occurs before the beginning of the story, and you’re not a good enough writer to pull off the slow, creepy reveal; you drop the murder on us in paragraph three. (If you want a good example of this exact scene done well, see Sebmojo’s Yard Work.)

The ending is unsatisfying for two major reasons: your character hasn’t made a choice in the story itself to precipitate/deserve the reversal of fortune, and it comes out of nowhere. The whole story up until “oh hey you’re not on the hook after all!” is extremely maudlin, so the story suddenly pivots into trying-to-be-funny and falls on its face instead.

Comedy aspect aside, for this to work, we’d’ve needed to see the solicitor trying to reach Hedge throughout the piece, and Hedge avoiding it for good reasons.

Your mechanics are still rough; too much telling, and you have a real problem with wishy-washy prose. Example:

quote:

For some reason Hedge had expected this to be more difficult.

The second half of this sentence is telling, and very clunky telling. Worse: You’re the writer. You don’t get to say “For some reason”. Either show us the reason somehow or omit the mention.

Your story has all kinds of bits like this hanging off it, and it makes the story very tedious to read. You’re putting questions in front of the reader (“ok, so why did he expect this to be more difficult? Why wasn’t it as difficult?”) and then wandering off to sate your crack habit.

Low pile.

QuoProQuid - Language Barriers

Tedious. A bunch of characters talking doesn’t make for a particularly interesting story, unfortunately. You also really need to pull the “last five humans on earth” bit up to the first para, if you’re going to go that particular route - that’s what sets up the stakes, all the fiddling around with clothing and the weather is scene-setting. Don’t be Robert Jordan, he’s a terrible writer.

Immediately show us answers to three big questions: who’s involved, what’s happening, and what’s at stake. After that, you can get into when and where, and make sure to show us why we care and how it’s resolved.

quote:

If I can’t get the truck started, I’ll just drink the fuel and be done with them.

This is pretty much how I feel about reading these stories, so kudos for capturing that, I guess.

Low pile.

WeLandedOnTheMoon! - One Hot Stud

Ok, so you start with a bank robbery, but then drop the interesting detail about fire bricks. I could use less tedious back-and-forth between the characters, and I want the fire bricks/snow bits much earlier on. That’s vital framing information; first three paragraphs, at latest - preferably the first, since it’s more interesting than the bank robbery.

You almost have some good ideas here, but they’re ruined by plain old bad writing.

quote:

These outlaws must have robbed him fifty times by now, and even though The Sheriff and his deputy Zack usually burst in to save the day, Bill knew that he was alone for this one.

WHAT?! Is this guy clairvoyant? How/why does he know this? If there’s some reason he should believe it, show us why he knows he’s alone, use a detail somewhere, don’t just smack me in the face.

quote:

“They took it all,” Bill would tell them, “every hot stud.”

***

“What he means, Sheriff, is that he gave it to them,” Zack huffed. He kicked a frozen pea across the room and continued unpacking his haul.

Seriously, just move the scene break up one stinking line and you don’t need to commit the sin of telling us what “would” happen. I don’t care what “would” happen, I care about what happens.

Another big problem: your second scene is pretty much disconnected from the bank robbery, thematically. You start off relatively whimsical, with Lego robbers stealing flames from a bank because, for some reason, it’s eternal winter. Then you completely ignore those plot bits and turn it into a maudlin story about a guy failing to do his job.

Seriously, if you’d just developed the bank robbery or resolved the Lego-fire parts, even with the clunky writing this would’ve been mediocre instead of outright bad.

You have some decent ideas in the first scene, but learn to write a plot. Also, clean up your actual mechanical writing: go read a book more complex than “Jack & Jill”.

Low pile.

Quidnose - Siderodromophobia

quote:

would rear up on its back axels

So is this train gonna take us down to the paradise city?

Pretty words, I see where you’re trying to develop a character, but is this about someone conquering fear (and a fear of trains is pretty weak and hard to sympathize with), or about the relationship between the guy and his fiance? The conclusion is unsatifying, as he basically just boards the train after some wheedling from the girl, and the conductor doesn’t contribute much either. Your very last sentence derails your story, as it shows us the character hasn’t successfully grappled with his fear of trains.

There’s also some undeveloped elements; you mention court-mandated therapy, but that isn’t mentioned or used elsewhere, despite being an obviously-important part of this guy’s character.

Too much hair on this, really. Needs a trim and further character/plot development.

Also, a guy threatening a single punch is seriously sidestepping the “bare-knuckle boxing” flash rule, to the point of almost ignoring it. I am not amused.

Mid pile.

Jonked - Alien Disguised!

Man oh man, I hope that title’s a pun somehow. I was lining you up for plenty of punning with that flash rule.

What the hell is the ASU? Don’t introduce weird acronyms without some way for me to guess what they are.

quote:

The two teenage punk girls behind him did not. The air shimmered around them for a moment. Soon, the piercings and black clothing melted away. Instead, the two girls had been replaced by scaly green aliens. As one, the alien soldiers raised their disruptor rays.

Zzz-huh? Something’s happening? I can hardly stay awake through all this slow, passive writing. “Soon” makes it feel like it’s happening over the course of several minutes (while the other characters stand around watching?) and the passive sentences make this seem slow and dull instead of HOLY CRAP ALIENS.

The ending’s a decent little joke, but nothing really changes with this story. What do the aliens do aside from provide a convenient action-sequence boogeyman?

This is halfway to competent, but seriously needs some kind of plot development. How has the situation changed at the end compared to the beginning? What have we learned?

Mid pile.

Noah - Old Bones

Hoooooly poo poo Noah, too much exposition! The first half of your story is god damned exposition. Please, please get to the loving point. Once we finally get to it, we get some monkeycheese action.

Johnny Thunders (did you add the ‘s’ for a reason?) is amusing, I’d like to see more of him. I mean, he has a lame line here and there, but he’s funnier than a professor moping about in a dark corridor.

The ending is… jesus christ, I’m just going to quote this.

quote:

screaming like a man in heat



You spend too much time on the lead-up to the funny parts, and you don’t resolve the thing with Alistair. This feels like you got cut off in the middle of the story, which is a pity because you could’ve just started with Alistair smashing the amulet, which puts the heroes in a dangerous situation, and then resolved the conflict with Alistair after. PLOT. ARC.

Mid pile.

V for Vegas - Warspite

The slow, creeping horror this seems to be going for doesn’t come across. You spend too long on the minutiae of flying around and searching without providing any foreshadowing. It’s “ho hum, flying a plane, the boat is late, ho hum, OH poo poo MONSTERS”. It’s like two different stories pasted together.

You could stand to tighten up your prose a bit, shave some of the adjectives and adverbs off and use stronger nouns/verbs. Example:

quote:

The only sounds were the faint tick of cooling metal and slight slaps of water on the plane’s hulls.

Leaving aside “the only sounds were”, ticks are already faint and ‘slight slaps’ could be tighter. Also, planes only have one hull.

There’s lots of little niggles like this which add up and detract from your piece.

Mid pile.

Benny the Snake - The Great Train Robbery

You’re trying to go for zany and cartoonish, but it just comes off as clumsy. This kind of reads like you’re trying to transcribe a Saturday Morning cartoon, which fits the prompt, but you play your cliches straight. That makes this tedious and boring to read; twist cliches to make them interesting.

quote:

“Alright, this is a stickup!” The leader yelled and fired a shot in the air. “Nobody move and nobody gets hurt!”

Gee whiz, this is so interesting and original, and shows me so many things about the character and tone! Where-ever do you get these incredible ideas? (No, seriously, this is painful to read.)

You basically have no plot to hang this around. The characters never really seem to be in danger, they never make choices, and we don’t know why any of this matters. Your characterization is confused - are we supposed to be rooting for the train robbers? The leader’s an asshat and his sidekicks are dolts. Why do I want these people to succeed?

Also, that’s not a very subtle “nutsack” joke you’ve stuck in there, nor a particularly funny one, nor particularly appropriate given the tone of the rest of the story.

Low pile.

Fumblemouse - Isolation Base

quote:

Thor imagined what they were saying on their private channel:

“He spat at me! ”

“Typical Blacktron, refusing to recognise his privilege. Electruncheon?”

“No - he has a roguish charm that you and the incredibly smooth area between your legs are lacking.”

I like this. I normally don’t like characters sitting around ruminating, but this is a nice illustration of character. Study this terse exchange, everyone else who submitted this week.

I really like the first half. You’ve got a good tone, but then it falls apart in the second half. The bit from where Thor starts laughing (why?) onwards is muddled, it reads like a continuous strip of time, but at the same time you’re slipping in a lot of references to time passing swiftly despite a bunch of action happening off-stage. And then we get smacked with “three years later”.

I like the twist end, it works well, particularly for a TD story, but it’d feel more satisfying if there was a reason aside from just “thor laughs a lot”.

You could stand to tighten and de-passivize your prose a bit.

quote:

He was still chuckling when the electruncheon shocked him into unconsciousness.

“shocked him unconscious”

quote:

The iso-cage, all ferric alloy and preventative field generators, was empty of comfort or convenience, yet Thor felt smug.

This sentence never needed to exist. You show us the smug later, and the iso-cage details can be cut or moved later. You’ve got some useless details littering your story, cut them and it’ll be stronger.

Despite the flaws, one of the better things I’ve read this week.

High pile.

Baudolino
Apr 1, 2010

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Unforgiven. 21 words.
It wasn`t worth it baby. Can you forgive your sister and me?
-No.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


TD 81 - MORE CRITS (part 2 of 2)

Black Griffon - Atlantean Exile

Aw poo poo, an epigram opening. You’re on notice. This better be incredibly relevant.

Nnnnnope. Not seeing the connection. Your character doesn’t learn anything. A bunch of really weird poo poo happens - and it’s interesting poo poo, I actually like it - but it doesn’t add up. I’m just going to point out a bunch of stuff.

quote:

"It's like this bro," said Fishwize the warrior, "Poseidon thinks he's got this under control, but he don't, bro."

Good tone-setting. Right after the Confucian intro, slipping in “bro” makes me sit up and take notice that something odd is going on. However - we never find out what “this” is. You’ve dangled a plot element in front of my face and then not developed it. That makes me an Angry Beef.

quote:

Kelp said nothing, which made sense, as he was a small piece of kelp.

Good. Amusing. Tone very much established now. You might cut “which made sense”.

quote:

If kelp was sentient, and could speak, he'd probably say something like, "Listen, Jürgen, I realize you're in that age where you think you've got it all figured out, but you don't. Poseidon is an immortal god, you're just a soldier."

Introduce Jürgen’s as Fishwize’s real name earlier. You drop it here and suddenly I think there’s a fourth character involved. Also, you could stop belaboring the “kelp can’t speak” thing, it’s funny once.

quote:

"I tell him 'yo Po', if we don't get these gats to our homeboys pronto, we gonna have some overrun gates on our hands'."

Jürgen "Fishwize" Heimblyg started beat boxing, bubbles escaping from his gills in time with the mis-timed beats. His voice shook from embarassment, and eventually he just stopped.

This should be one paragraph. Also, the last sentence is undeveloped. Why is he embarassed, why does he stop? We never find out. This is a pattern in this story; develop your details or cut them.

quote:

Jürgen started rapping, and miles away, Poseidon got a sudden headache.

I expect the latter to be justified somehow. It never is. Also, the rap itself isn’t great.

quote:

"Tell you what, I'll flip a coin. Poseidonhead and I go back and show him how angry I am, Deep Sea Reagan and I'll head into the wild watery wastelands."

Beginning of the second sentence doesn’t make sense. Editing error? Also, I really want to see a cool fun character named Deep Sea Reagan. Stop giving me detail blueballs.

quote:

"Jesus Christ, Jürgen, what are you doing? I mean, seriously, what are you thinking? How hungover are you?"

"Very. I'm very hungover."

And he buried his head in his hands and cried.

How the gently caress does this resolve the story? Aaaargh. There’s so much to like in the jokes and tone, but so little to like in the plot.

Despite that problem, I didn’t want to skip your story immediately and it drew my attention, so you’re ahead of most of the pack this week.

High pile.

Lake Jucas - Keep Going

I kinda see what you’re going for here, expounding on the will to survive and push on in the face of despair and certain defeat. Kinda. It’s in the background. There’s too many characters in this, though, and you’ve split it across too many scenes with too much dialogue.

The alien attack never really ties in. I could transpose most of this directly into a band of survivors on a deserted island, waiting for a ship that’ll never come.

This is really just clumsily written. Each scene is a variant on two characters talking to one another about whether it’s over or not, followed by one of them offing themselves. Problem is, I don’t care about these characters, because they’re just talking heads.

This escapes the low pile if only because you vaguely had a plot and theme, which is more than many so far.

Mid pile.

curlingiron - Share and Share Alike

Start with the cookies. That’s the weird and interesting detail here; your hook is weak, it’s “ho-hum a prisoner interrogation sequence”. Grab my interest by the short-n-curlies and PULL, goddamnit. The scene-setting can wait until after you’ve got me interested.

This is weird. It veers wildly back and forth between a sort of very belabored satire and complete monkeycheese weirdness.

The problem is that the jokes are inconsistent. How does Health Food Isle fit in with your critique of greed and sharing? It doesn’t. It’s just a weird pustule hanging off your story’s chin.

quote:

“Come on, let’s go punch a shark to celebrate.”

This line alone is obviously aimed at my sense of humor. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the story at all. It’s completely out of tone for the character and society you’ve portrayed. That said, gently caress you, I can’t fail any story where people punch sharks in jubilation.

Mid pile.

Ursine Asylum - A Cold Day in Hell

Title alone sets off my cliche warning. You’re on notice.

You have serious problems with redundancy. Seriously, this second clause never needed to exist, ever:

quote:

Doctor Emmanuel Hasenpfeffer, "Doc" to all but the most uptight on base,

If a character’s a Doctor, I can totally connect the dots and figure out that he’s the one nicknamed “Doc”. If he were nicknamed “Shitlips,” then you might have grounds for clarifying.

Also…

quote:

Doc walked to the trunk of his vehicle. "You’ve heard, of course, about some of the artifacts that the Archaeology team has been digging up?"

AS YOU KNOW, BOB… This is the worst sort of exposition. Never do this again. Ever.

Seriously, almost the entire first two-thirds of this story do not need to exist. You’re pulling the same basic story as Docbeard and making the same basic mistake: a kid playing with Lego isn’t an exciting story. It’s merely a framing device, through which you convey a story involving character development or change. Don’t confuse the pot for the flowers.

Worse, doing the reveal that this was all a kid playing with his toys is very unsatisfying when the story’s ostensibly been about the toys all along. It’s akin to “but it was all a dream!” - you’ve pulled the rug out from under the reader and outright stated that all the stuff happening to the characters is unimportant.

See systran’s story for this sort of thing done well.

Low pile.

Little Mac - Spaceman and Robot

You have a lot of “wait, what?” moments. Stuff where the writing just doesn’t parse.

quote:

Chuck sat in the sand, his butt refusing to sink lower to the ground.

Uh, if he’s sitting in the sand, his butt’s on the ground. So…

Yeah, this is just plain bad. Two characters jabber. The situation and danger they’re in is unclear. They’re stuck out on the moon for… some reason. Something’s broken down. And then they sit here grousing about OH WOE IS ME LIFE IS PAIN I SHOULD GIVE UP AND DIE. It’s like Lake Jucas’ story, only with vaseline smeared over the lens.

Also, one of them’s a robot? If that’s important, why isn’t it mentioned earlier? If it’s not important, cut it!

Low pile.

Barracuda Bang! - Puff

Oh, good, Cops fanfiction. I don’t think anyone’s done Cops fanfiction before. Bad boys, unh. I’ll be listening to the Cops theme song while reading this. It better help.

The first scene goes on too long, even if it does have the flavor of a Cops ridealong. Too much backstory, we need to have an urgent situation going on immediately.

Cute idea, poor execution. You need to work on the ending; there’s foreshadowing, and then there’s what you’ve done. You’ve telegraphed the ending so strongly that it becomes a letdown instead of a satisfying conclusion.

Mid pile.

Cache Cab - The Grand Prize

Burn your thesaurus. Things like this never needed to be written:

quote:

I shove the stolen panties up to his philtrum.

Nose works fine. You're using the language to try to evoke an overwrought character for your narrator, but you went way too far in some places. Worse, this story is basically “a guy is a goony jerk and dies”. Why do I care?

Here’s the thing - you've made me hate your narrator, but his destruction doesn’t come about because of his own choices. It’s a chance accident, not the result of him being an unrepentant fuckhead. That's frustrating and boring.

Low pile.

sebmojo - Jim Spaceman: Moon Attack!

Title predisposes me to liking this. This better be good, Mojo.

I’m… I like this. There’s places where I could ask for the language to be clearer and tighter. I think you really should cut down a little bit on the intro and get to the weirdness sooner. The weirdness is where this piece’s strengths are.

Some examples. This is a horrific runon:

quote:

He took cover behind it, aiming his rifle through the cloud of slow-falling moon dust at the cruiser as it settled onto its landing shocks.

And this detail never becomes relevant:

quote:

There was a cold computer in his head, enumerating the variables of their current situation and coming up with a vanishingly small chance of their survival.

There’s a number of little things like that. If you want a line-by-line, you’ve earned one.

All said and done, it ends well. I chuckled.

High pile.

Jay O - Professor Millennium’s Conflicted Cadavers

The hell is this? You spend the entire time scene-setting and none on actual plot. What’s the point of all this jabber? You’re obviously trying to do something with the bones joke at the end, and the memories and so on, but it’s muddled and buried beneath the prior two-thirds of word salad.

Focus your stories on a character arc, eliminate unnecessary details and exposit backstory only as necessary. The two giant backstory dumps in the middle are boring, distracting and, ultimately, unnecessary.

Mechanically, you’re OK. You can put two words together and they make sense; now start using this to show us character arcs.

Mid pile.

Tyrannosaurus - Black History

Cut the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines. Holy gently caress, this grabs my attention. I am sitting up and taking loving notice. The Emancipation Proclamation for Dinosaurs. Yes. I’m buckled in, take me for a goddamn ride.

Niggle:

quote:

America didn’t want you unless you were willing to die for her.

This contradicts the previous sentence. It’s jarring. Clarify or cut.

drat it. This had huge promise, but it veers from one premise to another. I don’t get why Jamar is disappointed at getting the tattoo he wanted. I don’t get how the ending relates to your opening; you started one story where dinosaurs stand in for an oppressed minority, then drop it for something about war erasing the differences between soldiers, and then… I don’t even know how to describe how this ends.

It’s a pile of story spaghetti. Every time I reach in, I pull out a separate strand. I just wish they connected somehow.

Also, you didn’t include Johnny Danger despite me explicitly saying you must. Unhappy Beef.

Mid pile.

Fanky Malloons - Equal Opportunity Witchcraft

I want to like this more than I actually do. It’s got lots of clever bits. It also has a tendency to smack me in the face with exposition.

quote:

“Because wizards aren’t real, idiot. Look, Crayvn is a Natural Witch, and there aren’t that many men in the Witch-hood, so you need to be a good role model for him.” Nightshade levitated the milk-bottle out of the now simmering pot of water and into her hand, “Besides, if nothing else you need to advance your rank so you can figure out how to reverse whatever charm you put on the house that turned it pink.”

“Fine,” said Ned, throwing his hands up in defeat, “You’re right though. It does look awful.”

Shortly after they moved in, Ned had tried to cast a simple charm to make their garden appear to passers-by as a picture of suburban perfection. It worked, in a sense, but it was difficult to explain to the neighbours how or why their house had become candy pink overnight. Nightshade was horrified, not only by the apparently irreversible colour change, but also by the fact that the neighbours thought it was to-die-for. The whole block was filled with pastel-painted houses within a month. It gave Nightshade acid reflux every time she had to go outside.

(Third paragraph needs to be transposed with the second.)

Thing is, the rest of the story seems to be more fixed around the baby being a pain in the rear end. Charms and spells don’t feature anywhere else. Also, this makes Ned out as a bumbler, and that never comes up either.

The wizard/witch thing doesn’t land, as we have no idea what the difference is. This whole story seems like a snippet out of a primetime Sabrina The Teenage Witch type of sitcom, but doesn’t really stand on its own.

The basic writing is good, though.

High pile.

Arkane - Morning Fire in the East

Ah, you subscribe to the “horrible fantasy overwriting” school of bad writing. Do me a favor. Stop loving a thesaurus as you write. It can’t love you back, it can’t fill the horrible void in your soul left by your utter lack of skill.

So, apparently, flying bedsheets are attacking some kind of mutated dragons for their gold, which the bedsheets eat. I don’t know why. Moreover, I don’t care why.

I know what you’re thinking right now. “Oh man this guy totally missed what my story is about. He couldn’t figure out what my invented words meant.”

News flash, cuntlips. As a writer, your number one job is clarity. I could puzzle it out. Did I want to? No. Because your story is a boring pile of bullshit.

You have no character development or plot arc. You have a “struggle” only in the sense that some characters get into a fight; there’s no emotive weight, the situation does not change.

All of my advice from my prior Judge Rant applies to the pile of poo poo you’ve submitted as a story. ALL OF IT. Read.

Beyond committing every single story sin possible, and you touch on a number of things that I particularly hate about newbies who jump directly into writing (lovely) fantasy.

Don’t invent new words without a loving good reason. “I wanted to make it sound cool” is not a good reason. Your job is to convey an interesting story to me, and inventing a new word deliberately obstructs my understanding. When you invent a word, the meaning is only entrenched in that diseased hunk of meatloaf in your skull. And believe me, while I’d love to lobotomize you, you already write like someone’s beaten me to it.

Don’t spend your entire loving story worldbuilding. Unless you can make it startlingly original (hint: you can’t), I don’t care about your world until I care about your characters. A full half of this Great Word-Wall of China is you wanking yourself off about how clever and fun a fantasy world you’ve built. The only time your world matters is when you're writing a larger story that uses the fantasy world as an allegory to discuss difficult-but-relevant real-world issues; fantasy is merely a distancing device to allow us to explore difficult themes with a comforting layer of alienation separating us from the squickiness. And even then, it has to be wrapped around a story about characters.

I hate this so much that it even competes with “loser goon does nothing at an airport for 700 words” for the loss.

Before you submit again, set fire the spooge-encrusted box of Piers Anthony books you call a “library” and go read a decent book. Go read Yiddish Policeman’s Union or Independent People or something. Jesus.

Actually, you know what? Climb onto that flaming pyre of fantasy bullshit and and burn to death. The world will be a better place.

Low pile/Loser candidate.

Starter Wiggin - No Regrets

First sentence, “as you know bob”. Stop it. Don’t do this style of exposition. Just google “as you know bob” for why.

quote:

To their horror, they instead heard the telltale clicking of hyper-matured beaks

Not only is the first clause redundant/telling (show us the horror!), the latter clause is a good example of bad showing. Since I’m not familiar with how a hyper-matured beak clicks, the sentence is just word salad. Don’t do this. Also, “hyper-matured”? Really?

quote:

The clicking died off after a few minutes, and they heard the, "splort, splort, splort" that signaled they were moving down the hallway, towards the chamber their queen was holed-up in.

Okay, look, if you have to clarify what your onomatopoeia means immediately after writing it, then you’ve written something terrible. Find another way to express this. Also, eliminate wishy-washy phrases like “after a few minutes”, it weakens your writing.

quote:

"I get that, I really do. I just wanted to see it first, see things that no one else on earth had seen before, and blaze the trail. Dammit, I'm a ski jumper. And I'd be a loving liar if I pretended that the gold wasn't a good incentive."

Sorry, no, this doesn’t work as a way to dodge the flash rule. Also, three-quarters of your story is two men telling each other about the current situation and their backstories. I seriously don’t care. Show these guys doing something.

Right, ending resolves nothing, story sucks. Why do I care about the chest? What are the stakes?

The characters don’t actually do anything, there’s no development, and your method of writing is for everyone to just tell each other what’s happening/what happened, instead of showing us anything. It’s tiresome to read.

Low pile.

Jeep - Another Brick in the Wall

Title sets me up for Pink Floyd. This better be good as Floyd.

quote:

“You spent so much time tryin’ to find me, Det. Disco, well here I am, boy.”

gently caress’s sake, spell out “detective”. It doesn’t even occupy more wordcount and flows better than an abbreviation.

quote:

Tex was seated on his motorbike and he had the briefcase. A lone sun, just peaking above the city skyline, caused round little globules of sweat to form on Det. Disco’s little round face.

Oh man, you LOVE passive sentences, don’t you? This entire para is passive. Makes the situation feel languid and boring, which is quite a feat for what I believe is meant to be a high-speed chase on motorcycles.

quote:

“This is just, uh, not working,”

Meta-commentary or just boring dialogue?

Seriously, what’s the point of this story? A film crew is having trouble filming a movie. Okay. That’s a setup, a framing device around a story, but you seem to have omitted the story itself. What’s at stake, what changes? Ugh.

Low pile.

Djeser - In Limbo (DQ for lateness)

quote:

All the deities of Cygnus 3 cried for their hives as the exosolar night rippled away from Urbis Planitia, the midwestern plains.

“Cried for their hives”? I didn’t know gods got rashes.

quote:

Even as a Tellurian, follower of Tellus, as brutalist a god as you’d find

Nor did I know gods could be angular 70s libraries made of poured concrete. THIS IS SO EDUCATIONAL!

quote:

he liked the overlapping waves of poetry

Every evening the same song: “My bonnie lies over the ocean, my bonnie lies over the sea…”

quote:

There was peace in variety without commitment, the way twenty conversations muffled noise right by your ear.

This doesn’t make any sense.

quote:

Feedback came from 401.34 on the ultrawave band, screeching, words echoing into pure sine waves.

Glad you didn’t go off on a tangent here.

quote:

The Cygnan sunsets beyond the angled roof of the church spun out of view,

Narrator needs to stop hitting the whisky before each story. We’re holding an intervention next week, can you come?

quote:

The high G-forces had given Theta’s face faint lines.

It’s the future, and cosmetic face-smoothing creams STILL don't work. I'm selling my Maybelline stock.

quote:

“Let’s give those Lamurites Purgatory.” Theta heaved himself into the fighter with one arm.

Yeah don’t actually, like, kill ‘em. Just knock ‘em over the head for a while. It’ll be a larf.

(Seriously, I’m how far into your story and I have no idea what’s at stake or what’s going on aside from SPACEMEN ARE IN SPACE LISTENING TO SPACE PRAYERS. That’s bad.)

quote:

Iota couldn’t see Theta, but he could imagine his curt, cool nod.

(Don’t do this.)

quote:

Over the harmonious choir of Lamur’s voices, the steady rattle of Theta’s weapon fire rustled through the comms.

Man, even the Future can’t make a directional mic that works.

quote:

The sounds of Lamurite Revelations grew softer.

Boring. Snore.

quote:

They hesitated for a moment. That moment filled up with the rattle of hypostatic guns.

Wishy-washy. Passive. Boring. Snore.

quote:

Sometimes, Iota just wished he’d die.

Iota is a dick to wingmen.

quote:

Tellus, he hadn’t meant that!

You need a new god. Start worshiping at the altar of Showus.

quote:

The passenger seat was full Theta grinned weakly as Mu and Kappa helped him out.

… huh?

quote:

Iota couldn’t say sorry. He hadn’t done anything.

Djeser needs to say sorry. Characters haven’t done anything.

This story’s pretty bad. You’re too far up your own rear end with whiz-bang scifi religious weaponry, but at no point do I know what’s at stake. Iota’s a jealous rear end in a top hat, then he feels a little bad when Theta gets shot down, but it’s ok because Theta isn’t dead, story over.

Urf.

Low pile.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Stilted Dialogue!
Meandering Plot!
Said-bookisms!
Overwriting!
Thesaurus!

By your powers combined, I am Captain Thunderdome!

Week 82: Captain Thunderdome

Judges: systran, SaddestRhino, and sebmojo if he wants to
Deadline: Sign-up deadline, Friday at Midnight PST. Submission deadline, Sunday at Midnight PST.

This week will be ANONYMOUS and COLLABORATIONS will be allowed, but not required. There will be no flash rules at any point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Imaginary_Beings
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3...dit?usp=sharing

You will choose a being from either list and it must EITHER inspire OR appear in your story. Just because you are writing about one of these beings doesn't mean you HAVE TO write horror/fantasy. Notice I said INSPIRE as a possibility; this means you don't HAVE TO have the whole story revolving around this creature literally existing in your story.

If you choose to collaborate with others, you may do it in any way you want. You can write a seamless, single narrative together, you can write a series of inter-connected short stories, you can write a series of stories that share the same theme. I don't care at all how and to which extent you collaborate. Up to four people can work together, but just keep in mind that the more people there are, the harder it will be to meet up together. I strongly advise working with people in your time zone.

If you don't know anyone and want to work together, I encourage you to join synirc.net #kyrena to look for people to work with. Also if someone who has won a few times or got honorable mentions wants to team up with newbies, that would be really cute. Baudolino should definitely join IRC.

COLLABORATION IS OPTIONAL. You may be a maverick and write alone just like any other week.

Word Counts:

1 person: 1,000 Words
2 people: 1,700 Words
3 people: 2,100 Words
4 people: 2,200 Words

If four people are working together, they will have ONE PERSON submit on their behalf, and the total word count of whatever the collaboration is must not exceed 2,200 Words.

If a team wins, they will vote one person on their team as winner. Everyone else on the team will get the honorable mentions. The same goes for losers.

When you sign up, don't loving tell me which creature you pick. And don't tell me who you are collaborating with. THIS IS ANONYMOUS WEEK.

DO NOT POST YOUR STORY ONTO THE FORUMS Email your submission to RadSeafood@gmail.com. Subject of the email MUST BE "Thunderdome 82 Submission." If you put a different subject you may be disqualified. You can have the story in the body of the email or you can just link to a googledoc. Badseafood is going to paste all the stories into a master document, which the judges will use to read, crit, and choose an anonymous winner and loser from. Once the signup deadline is up, I will post the link to that document so everyone can read all the stories.

If you are worried/paranoid that your submission didn't get through, you can go on IRC and talk to Badseafood to make sure he received it. He will be very secretive and not spill the beans to ANYONE about who is who.

In:

SurreptitiousMuffin
Chairchucker
QuoProQuid
Paladinus
Jeza
crabrock
Black Griffon - Dropped out
Erogenous Beef
Crab Destroyer
No Longer Flaky
WeLandedOnTheMoon!
Whalley
Tyrannosaurus
SurreptitiousMuffin
Meinberg
JonasSalk
The Leper Colon V
tenniseveryone
Starter Wiggin
Fanky Malloons
Noah
Mercedes
Baudolino
Sitting Here
curlingiron
Entenzahn
Nikaer Drekin
Fumblemouse
Masonity
elfdude
Lake Jucas
Dr. Kloctopussy
Jay O
Quidnose
Palisader
Anathema Device
Nethilia
Lead out in cuffs
lambeth
Echo Cian
Djeser
Schneider Heim
Oxxidation
Jonked
Benny the Snake
Illegal Carrot
That Old Ganon
Phobia

SUBMISSIONS SO FAR: https://docs.google.com/document/d/...GPszzmaW-c/edit CRITS WILL FOLLOW AFTER WINNER IS ANNOUNCED!

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at Mar 2, 2014 around 20:48

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Curse you Systran! You've taken my two favourite 'domers as judges, and broken my power trio!

I am not defeated yet sir, no! I will take a team of plucky newcomers and I will teach them my art. Consequently:

I have PMs. I will collaborate with the first three people to PM me, regardless of who they are. This will be a single team of 4, and you'll be told who the others are as they arrive. If the team is less than 4, then so be it.

EDIT: Team Muffin Is The Best Sexman now consists of 3 people. 1 space remains!


EDIT 2: ACH, I AM FULLY CHARGED. TEAM IZ FINISHED, UND FULL!

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at Feb 25, 2014 around 14:20

Chairchucker
Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

In I will write a thing, or will I, oooh I'm not telling you if I'll be writing what I submit. Or something.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012

WHO LOVES BLOOD SODA?
KEL LOVES BLOOD SODA!


I do. I do. I do-oo.


In.

Paladinus
Jan 11, 2014



Not sure what the hell is going on, but I'm in.

Edit: nvm.

Paladinus fucked around with this message at Feb 25, 2014 around 14:21

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


In. My timezone is GMT. Don't mind teaming up - can PM me or sometimes find me on the IRC.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning


Despite systran saying there ain't no flash rules, here's one:

DO NOT loving WORLDBUILD. DO NOT JUST THROW A BUNCH OF WIKIPEDIA FACTS AT US OR PRETEND YOU ARE WRITING THE BACK OF SOME GATHERING: THE MAGIC CARD. IF YOU DO EITHER YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY LOSE

EDIT: whoever's not entering this week and wants to volunteer go into IRC or PM systran/me.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002

aka sticklegs



Grimey Drawer

The caustic odor of the cigarette reminds you of your grandma laying in her hospital bed, breathing through a hole in her throat, bald as a baby. She didn’t last long after that, and you miss her.

“No thanks, I don’t think it’s very healthy.”

“Yeah, probably not, but my whole family smokes. I’ve been smoking since I was ten.”

“Maybe you should quit.”

Gus tosses the cigarette on the ground and stomps it out. “You’re right. I’m better than that. Thanks for believing in me.”

“No problem,” you say. “Maybe we should get back to school?”

“Yeah, I only got like two more strikes before I gotta stay back again.”

You can’t help but like Gus, and hope he gets to come to high school with you. “It’s only a few more weeks, I think you can do it.”

You grab your bike and pedal slowly next to Gus. You talk about comics and movies, and find that you have a surprising amount in common.

“I never thought you’d be into that stuff.”

“People assume all sorts of things about me.”

Suddenly he pulls you behind a bush, almost knocking you off your bike.

“Hey!”

“Quiet!”

You shut up and follow his gaze. Officer James drives by in his rusty Toyota pickup. You both laugh, and hurry back to school before he realizes you’re not at Don’s.

“I wonder how he found out?”

“Who knows!”

You say goodbye to Gus and duck into your classroom.

Your teacher, Mrs. Bennet, stops class to look at you. “You’re late.”

“Sorry, was at the nurses office. Feel better now though.”

She rolls her eyes. You feel the whole class’s eyes on you. Everybody but Molly is staring. “Shut up Chauncifer,” you say.

“But I didn’t say anything?”

“I know, but you’re still annoying.” The class laughs.

“Jake, that’s uncalled for. Go take your seat.”

You walk back to your seat, and one of the other boys holds out his hand for a high five. Take that, you cheese-smelling weirdo, you think. Chauncifer puts his head into his arms. The little weirdo is probably crying.

You don’t bother to take your books out of your backpack, and sit in the back of the room. The hamster cage is especially ripe, and you interrupt Mrs. Bennet’s lesson with an outburst: “This stupid rodent makes me want to vomit. Can we move it somewhere else?”

“What has gotten into you today?” she asks.

“I just don’t want to smell hamster piss. Is that a crime?”

“Please step outside into the hallway.”

You begrudgingly follow her out into the hall.

“Look, I don’t know what is up with you today, but you are being very rude. You’ve interrupted my lesson twice, and how you treated your classmate was just plain mean.”

You shrug. “So?”

“You can go sit in the Dean’s office until you decide you can be an active part of the class.” She points down the hallway.

Do you

Apologize to your teacher and beg to be let back in class.

or

Tell her what you really think.

crabrock fucked around with this message at Aug 4, 2014 around 06:52

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005

Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are.

You are destiny.


In.

Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart


In.

Crab Destroyer
Sep 3, 2011


In.

No Longer Flaky
Nov 16, 2013

by Lowtax


I'm in.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly


Signing up.

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004

neato devito


I'm in. You'll know which one's mine when it's all over because it'll be the one that's so good it makes you weep.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006

I failed to submit because I was so excited about New Zealander Tim Price winning the Burghley Horse Trials on the quirky but freakishly talented Ringwood Sky Boy

In.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


Greetings, Fräuleinen! Thought it is the work in progress, I have video footage of my team working on zer writing.

I regret to inform you zat zis week will be excruciating.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Tentatively in. If I fail this week, I will toxx next week.

JonasSalk
May 27, 2012

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I am in and I am toxxing myself. Sure I let drugs destroy my life for the past several months but now I'm on the other side and I'm ready to let y'all destroy me again.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

H3Y H4V3 YOU GUYS H34RD 4BOUT HOM3STUCK?


I am a basic bitch who backs out half the time so throw a on me. In.

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